Over two million British renters are putting an average of GBP23,195 worth of possessions at risk because they fail to take out home contents insurance, according to research from insurance company Norwich Union.

The research reveals that tenants are much less likely than homeowners to have home contents insurance with 72% of the 2.9 million privately rented properties in the UK without a policy.

The research highlights the top three reasons why renters do not take out home contents insurance as being: high costs (30%), not enough possessions to make it worth while (16%) and those who consider it as not essential (11%).

Norwich Union warns that matters are set to get worse as house prices continue to be out of reach for most first-time buyers and more youngsters opt for paying rent rather than a mortgage. Add to that the increasing cost of utility bills, council tax and credit card debts and home contents insurance is often the first expense to go.

Peter Cormack, household underwriter at Norwich Union, said: Our research appears to show that a lot of young renters don’t really understand insurance let alone consider it. It’s worth bearing in mind that insurance not only covers you from burglary but also for all the other household mishaps like damage caused by bath and shower leaks, which are extremely common and can damage serious amounts of property. Let’s also not forget storm damage and floods where claims can cost many thousands of pounds.